Dance to raise funds for Dayton Children’s

By Cecilia Fox -

WEST MILTON — Next week, students at Milton-Union High School will dance the night away for a good cause and they’re asking for the community’s support.

On Jan. 18, students are hosting the school’s fourth annual Barkathon dance marathon to benefit Dayton Children’s Hospital. In past years, the students have raised about $5,000, but this year’s goal is a new piece of equipment for the hospital, guidance counselor Paula Shaw said.

The fundraising target is $4,300, which will be used to purchase a new vein finder. This device uses infrared light to illuminate patients’ veins, which is helpful for hospital staff working with small children and infants, Shaw said.

“I think the students get a lot out of this. The committee that is working on this is very excited,” Shaw said.

Senior Abbie Goudy agreed, saying that her fellow students enjoy feeling like they’ve helped others.

“We’ve all been through Dayton Children’s, so we know what it’s like. But there are a lot of other kids that have had it way worse than us, so it just feels good to give back to them and know that we’ve made a difference, even if it’s not a huge difference,” Goudy said. She has been involved in planning the fundraiser for each of its four years.

Students will be seeking out friends, family and community members to sponsor them as they participate in the five-hour dance marathon; they can also buy tickets for door prizes to raise funds. They have also started a team fundraising page where anyone can donate online, which can be found at

In addition to music and dancing, food and plenty of other activities have been planned for the evening, Shaw said. These include Zumba instruction and an appearance by a magician, and students will also meet with childhood cancer survivors and hear their stories.

Goudy said one of her favorite parts of the event is the morale dance. Every hour, students at the dance learn a little choreography, which they’ll put together at the end of the night for one big group dance.

“And the reveal of how much money we’ve raised — that’s really rewarding,” she added.

Students have already raised $300 and several other fundraising events are in the works.

After the fundraising ends, students will have the opportunity to tour Dayton Children’s and “see where their money goes,” Shaw said.

“We’ve had a couple kids go through Children’s with leukemia and brain cancer, so it brings it home to our kids here at school,” Shaw said.

“It can happen to anyone you know,” Goudy added.

Students at the middle school are also learning about philanthropy this week. The class that collects the most change will duct tape their principal to the wall during lunch. If students raise $400 or more, Superintendent Brad Ritchey will find himself duct taped to the wall as well, Shaw added.

By Cecilia Fox

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